Using your website and online channels to keep in touch with customers during unforeseen events

The current Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown across New Zealand have shown us that you never really know what is coming next.

While Covid-19 has dramatically highlighted how quickly things can change, there are many scenarios that may affect your business and how it runs. An earthquake or other natural disaster in New Zealand, an international event that affects the New Zealand market or even something specific to your business such as a family illness or other problem.

Business owners, particularly small business owners who may not run on large margins and rely on customer interaction, should be mindful of the need to keep communication with present and future customers open and be flexible when making changes to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

Your website and other online channels can provide valuable communications

It is important to get the correct information flowing as quickly as possible during times of change. Online channels are the best option to reach all your customers in a short time.

Four ways to use online channels to get your message out

  1. Post a message on your website. This could either be a new section on your Home Page, Contact page, or blog post, or you could add a pop-up message. If the information is about specific products or services, you could only put the message on certain pages.
  2. Send out an email to your customer database with the information. Again you could send a message to your whole database or choose a particular segment of your customers.
  3. Use your social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn. This is a great way to send your followers a quick message.
  4. Update your Google My Business listing. If your changes include changes to opening hours, business address or other changes, update your GMB listing temporarily and add a post to tell people what is happening.

Important things to tell people include:

  • Changes to opening hours
  • Changes key staff members, especially if they are directly responsible for clients
  • Updates to contact numbers
  • Changes to product availability or stock levels
  • Delays in order fulfilment or delivery times

Switching parts of your business online can help mitigate difficult circumstances.

You may be able to mitigate some of your business losses during difficult times by switching some or all of your business online.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, for example, some businesses have switched to online ordering and contactless deliveries. Others have started offering their services online. For example, a yoga studio that would normally be full of people is now running classes remotely via an online membership scheme.

If you plan to do this, already having a well-thought-out and well-set-up website will make things much easier. This gives you a solid platform from which to communicate and run your business. You might even consider your online business as a long-term strategy for appealing to customers outside your immediate area.

Need help? Talk to Kitchen Table Web Design

If you are considering setting up a new website, we are happy to discuss options with you. Our website packages include affordable web design for small businesses and can include e-commerce options If you need them.

If you are an existing customer and need help updating your website or social media channels, please get in touch.

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